Retail icon Raymond Ackerman passes away

Raymond Ackerman, the retail icon who founded JSE-listed Pick n Pay, has passed away, the group confirmed in a statement on Thursday.

“It is with profound sadness that we announce the death at the age of 92 of visionary South African and founder of Pick n Pay, Raymond Ackerman. He is survived by his wife, Wendy, children Gareth, Kathy, Suzanne, and Jonathan, his 12 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren,” the retailer said.

Ackerman – who was known for his retail sayings “doing good is good business” and “poor people need low prices, rich people like low prices” – founded Pick n Pay in 1967 along with Wendy after buying four stores in Cape Town.


“From the outset, he lived by the core values that the customer is queen, that we must treat others as we wish to be treated, and that doing good is good business. These values have guided the business for over 56 years, and today, the Pick n Pay Group serves millions of customers in more than 2000 stores across South Africa and seven other African countries,” said Pick n Pay in a statement.

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“His business philosophy was underpinned by the “four legs of the table” [administration, social responsibility and marketing, people, and merchandise, with the customer on top] first introduced to Ackerman by Bernard Trujillo in the US,” it added.

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Pick n Pay highlighted that Ackerman came from a retailing family, with his father having founded Ackermans after World War 1.

The clothing chain is now owned by JSE-listed Pepkor, but Pick n Pay has launched its clothing retail chain in recent years.